The Baxter - Branham Campaigns:
When the cult follower of William Branham's religious movement hears the name "Ern Baxter," a warm feeling of respect begins to come over their body as they start listening to the recording. Repeatedly, their ears have heard the phrase, "Thank you, brother Baxter," before Branham started a number of sermons, and have heard the many kinds words Branham used in respect for the man who was named first in the "Baxter-Branham Campaigns."
As one repeatedly listens to these recordings, the brain begins to be wired such that critical thinking and even basic cognitive function ceases to exist. In almost a state of slumber, every word Branham speaks is assumed to be correct -- not only at the time the recording was made, but forever until the eternity to come. Branham's words suddenly reach immortality for the programmed mind.
Very few in the cult following of William Branham pause to examine the history of the Post WWII Healing Revival. Its rise and tragic fall, though directly related to William Branham, contradict the altered reality created by allowing only the history according to the tapes. Remembered only by William Branham's welcoming praise of Ern Baxter, most cult followers do not realize that Baxter abandoned the Branham movement for its deceptive practices. While the cult's only response to failed prophecy is the false impression that the healing ministry was successful, Baxter's only response as to why he left Branham was just the opposite.
"I remember in the beginning of the healing movement, simply to report a healing would produce great jubilation and praise from congregations. However, the cynicism became so deep that the peopleâ€™s confidence was diminished. Even to this day, people are
affected. People began to circulate healing testimonies which, when they were checked out by reputable journalists and reporters, even those who were friendly to the movement, were found to be false. The percentage of healings that stood up after investigation was embarrassingly low. As a result, disillusionment set in, and the healing movement as it was known in the beginning declined in momentum until today you canâ€™t say it really amounts to anything as a movement."
- Ern Baxter, New Wine, 1978
Ern Baxter was a Canadian Pentecostal evangelist that rose to fame in the 1930's and 1940's through his missionary work as a musician and eventually speaker. Around 1950, Branham asked Baxter to join with him, and the Baxter-Branham campaigns toured the nation attracting large audiences. But it only took Baxter less than seven years to realize that the Divine Healing movement itself was not of God.
Baxter's testimony puts balance to some of William Branham's more incredible stories. Many who have fled the cult of William Branham are familiar with the esoteric "mysteries" and their thematic conflicts with scripture. Interestingly, while it takes the average person a good bit of time to come to this conclusion, Baxter claims to have noticed it almost immediately. In fact, he claims to have begged Branham to hold his tongue when straying from Scripture. While the cult would have their followers believe Baxter left Branham for "differences in opinion," Ern Baxter is quite clear that Branham's teaching was seriously wrong.
Branham saw himself as a teacher of some kind of â€œinâ€ truth. To me, some of it was quite esoteric. I became aware early in his ministry that there was a mixture. I urged him not to say some things in public. As long as we worked together he refrained. One of the reasons for my leaving him was that he was starting to say some seriously wrong things. When that, coupled with other circumstances, eventually became unbearable, I resigned. I think there can be a lesson in this. Branham, as a miracle worker, had a real place. Branham as a teacher was outside of his calling. The fruits of his teaching ministry are not good.
- Ern Baxter, New Wine, 1978
Unfortunately, there was a period of time in our history when Branham's failed prophecies, fictional and conflicting life stories, and twisting of scripture was virtually unknown. Even Baxter references the failed bridge prophecy, and takes William Branham at his word that Branham started as a Baptist minister rather than the pastor of the "Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle." The cult proudly references uninformed documentaries such as the "God's Generals" series on television when they pay tribute to Branham and his mythology. This has since been corrected through the work of several apologetics. All who fully examine William Branham and his ministry agree with Ern Baxter -- the fruits of Branham's teaching ministry are not good.
Baxter's interview: http://ern-baxter.blogspot.com/2006/12/happy-christmas-to-one-and-all-i-do.html http://seekyethetruth.com/files/awareness/ern%20baxter%20interview.pdf
Example apologetics studies of the fruit of Branham's ministry: http://www.thecenters.org/articles/CFAR_Cult_of_Branham.pdf http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=127&Itemid=8 http://acfar.org/william-branham-healing-and-heresy.aspx http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/williambranham1.html http://www.caic.org.au/biblebase/branham/branham3.htm http://www.bereanpublishers.com/branhamism/ http://www.forgottenword.org/williambranham.html